Born in Córdoba in 1969 within a gypsy family. He moved to Madrid and started his dance studies. When He was only twelve years old was already in a program on TVE. He started in the Spanish National Ballet at the age of fifteen and He was soon promoted to soloist.
After leaving the National Ballet he participated in various shows alongside outstanding figures such as Maya Plisetskaya, Silvie Guillem and Peter Schauffuss.
In 1992, after a performance at the Champs Elysées Theatre in Paris, he created his own company: Joaquín Cortés Ballet Flamenco. He premiered his first show called “Cibayí” in Madrid, in the Albeniz Theatre.
In 1998 He was invited to perform at the Universal Expo in Lisbon.
In January 1999 he moved to New York he started his collaboration with the renowned choreographer Debbie Allen, with whom he participates on the ceremony of the 71st Annual Academy Awards in the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in L.A. He participates also in Jennifer Lopez video “Gypsy”.
In April, He created in Spain The Foundation Gitana Joaquín Cortés for diffusion, dissemination, promotion and development of the Gypsy culture and Art.
He is the First dancer introducing fashion on his shows, dressed by designers like Giorgio Armani, Jean Paul Gaultier, Paul Smith, Narciso Rodríguez……
Among other works stands his coreography of “Carmen” in The Verona Arena, and his participation On The Summer Flamenco Festival in Tokio and shows at The Lincoln Center de Nueva York.
He premiered his first show called “Cibayí” in Madrid, in the Albeniz Theatre. In this show Cortés performs two solos: a Solea por Bulerias and the Farruca, full of soul, amazing flamenco style. “Cibayí” meant popular consecration of Cortés, and was a preview of exactly what will be his style: dramatic and effective, but with details and flashes of extraordinary beauty.
Endorsed the success in different countries like Russia, France, Italy, Spain, Japan , United States and Latin America.
He made his cinema debut with Pedro Almodóvar with an appearance in his film “La flor de mi secreto” and he repeated the experience in Carlos Saura’s film “Flamenco”.
In 1995 He premiered the show “Pasión Gitana” at the Albéniz Theatre in Madrid. It toured 30 different countries, highlighting prestigious Spoleto Festival, the Radio City Music Hall and the City Centre in New York, the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, the Royal Albert Hall in London (the only Spanish with sold out 12 days), Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Caracas’ Polyhedron and the Tokyo Forum, and Bullfighting Place of las Ventas in Madrid. “Pasión Gitana” is up to date the spanish show most viewed worldwide.
In 1997, the band of sound of Pasión Gitana was recorded and called Gypsy Passion Band. That record was released worldwide, being the second Spanish CD released at this level. This year is also invited to perform at The Jazz Festival of Montreau.
In 1998 He was invited to perform in Universal Expo in Lisbon.
In August 1999, He performed at the World Athletic Championships Ceremony, in which he played the role of Hercules.
In October it was the opening night of his new show “Soul” at the Tívoli Theatre in Barcelona, it is also recognized at the gypsy soul of Joaquín Cortés and travelled worldwide many cities like London, Pekin, Milano, Tokio, Hannover (Universal Exposition), Beirut (Beittedine Festival).
In January 2000 Joaquín started the shooting of “Gitano”, written by one of the most prestigious writers in Spain, Arturo Pérez Reverte, on his first leading role in a movie.
In March premiered his new show “Live” at the Royal Albert Hall Theater in London. In september, He dances with Jennifer López in Puerto Rico and another outstanding collaboration at The Grammy Awards, with the great winner of this year, Alicia Keys.
In February 2001 he opened the Viña del Mar festival (Chile). For the first time a dancer takes part in the most important Latin Music Festival in South America.
The 2002, started at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and continued through a European tour. Joaquín Cortés was invited to perform at the traditional concert of the Nobel Peace Prize, which took place at the OSLO SPEKTRUM presented by Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange.In September 2003 he filmed “Vaniglia e Cioccolato” in Italy, directed by Ciro Ippolito, playing the leading role with the actress Maria Gracia Cucinotta.
March 2003 premiered in Milan “De amor y odio”, a show produced and choreographed by himself. It is a new contemporary vision of show with themes like war, violence, hunger, but also love.
In December 2004, he was the image for an advertising campaign of the italian sports trademark FREDDY. The spot was also nominated as one of the best spots of the year in Gala de la Publicitá .
En 2005, premiered his new show “Mi Soledad” at the Auditorio Nacional México (DF).
He was invited to perform at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in an Tribute to the great dancer, Maya Plisetskaya.
In 2006, “Mi Soledad” held its European premiere in Paris and he also performed at a special presentation of a new set of wardrobe designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, in the designer’s “Maison”. During this year, He was image of Choppard, IWC, La Veuve Clicquot and also for Samsonite worldwide.
He collaborated with the Italian Fundación Rava with the construction of a children’s hospital in Haiti .
In November, Cortés was nominated Ambassador of the Romani People by the European Parliament. He was invited to a meeting in Brussels with Presidents Barroso and Borrell where He also addressed the Parliament with an impassioned speech expressing the depth of his feeling towards the roman people.
In July 2007 He participated in the Ceremony Opening New Seven Wonders of The World, with tenor José Carreras and Dulce Pontes at the Light Stadium, Lisbon.
In 1995 he was named as Universal Spaniard, in Miami.
In 1999 He was named Goodwill Ambassador by The UNESCO.
In 2001 He was named Ambassador by UNICEF.
In 2006 He was named Ambassador of the Romani People by the European Parliament
In 2006 He was named as A Universal Gypsy.
In 2009 His artistic Legacy became “Universal Patrimony” by the UNESCO.
In 2010 He was nominated as Ambassador for Climate Change.
In 2010 He was honoured with The Gold Medal of Arts by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.